I don't have the time to play Roguelites

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Humanity

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Edited By Humanity

I think we've all heard that age old addage: when you're young you don't have money but have plenty of time and when you get older you have a lot more money but a lot less time. For a while now as I've grown older myself I've been increasingly feeling the effects of being pushed in the direction of the latter. Buying new games is not an issue anymore, but dedicating time to them is. I honestly see the roguelite genre as a young mans game. They require time, dedication and fast reflexes are definitely a huge bonus. That is not to say that getting older is going to cut you off from those type of games entirely. Matt Rorie, with all due respect, is no spring chicken but he has honed his Spelunky skills to a fine edge and can clear that game quite consistently. Not all of us are as lucky to be born perfect human specimen.. unfortunately.

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I've dabbled with roguelites for a while now trying the popular titles and always dropping them very early on. Dead Cells took the world by storm and I struggled to get past the second boss and in fact never did so. The idea of having to clear those early stages and that first boss just to get an attempt at the second one seemed exhausting. I've always favored linear, bespoke, iterative game models. Specifically I enjoy the feeling of growing stronger in games thanks to skills and stats you've earned along the way. Less Dead Cells and more Hyper Light Drifter. I understand the appeal of actually getting better at the game instead of pumping up arbitrary stats in order to get ahead. That must really feel satisfying, but I no longer have the time, patience and possibly the dexterity to go that route. Most recently I've started checking out ScourgeBringer through Game Pass. The game has a great presentation and a unique combat system that has you bouncing from enemy to enemy in a stylish mid-air ballet. I'm not sure how it ranks in terms of harshness in the genre, but I know that despite enjoying my time with it I will eventually just have to put it down. ScourgeBringer like many roguelites requires you to beat the entire game in one go. As far as I know there are no shortcuts and each run begins at the very beginning. Each run first tasks you with locating the sub-boss of the "zone" by traversing randomized rooms in a square grid and then defeating the main boss of the zone known as a "judge" in order to move on to the next biome. At this point I can reliably get to the second boss and I've actually come pretty close to beating him. That said, the idea that I will have to repeat this ever increasing journey for each new area is deflating. I simply don't have the time or dedication to put into this game in order to get it done. I'd like to, but it's not likely to happen.

I've actually bought Hades and haven't tried it yet but I have heard that it is possible for folks like me to get through it. I'm definitely looking forward to trying and I hope that it can maybe be the first one of these that I stick to. I'm honestly kind of jealous of people that can find the joy in these games that I simply cannot. Seems like hitting gold when you do encounter a really good one as you get so many hours of fun out of it. They say not all games are for everyone and I just don't think I'm cut out for the genre, but I do wonder if these types of games were around when I was in my late teens back when I had all the time in the world would I be of a different opinion.

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redwing42

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The best thing about Hades is that even when you don't complete the game, you are moving the story forward. That is more of an impetus to continue than the standard "I can spend a currency to get an extra 5% health," though this game also has that. Plus, God Mode if you are getting stuck for too long.

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Justin258

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#2  Edited By Justin258  Online

For me, it's less the time (I lead a boring life) and more the patience.

I like progress in my video games. And no, "you get to keep x amount of gold" or "you can keep these weapons from run to run" isn't progress. OK, I mean, technically it is, but it's not what I'm talking about. When I finish a level, I have finished a level. I am interested in exploring the next one, certainly not interested in having to do the first one again because I died in the second.

I have come to irrationally hate the trend. I see so many games that could do so many interesting things with their mechanics if they would utilize a static world or handcrafted levels, but instead we have an avalanche of games that look great and play well, but that have these garbage randomized levels and difficulty cranked up to the max. I just get tired of seeing a pixel-y, 2D game that I think looks like a good time only to hear "oh yeah, roguelite" and feel disappointment set in, to the point where for the past year or two I've just started ignoring them.

We've got plenty of Metroidvanias out there, too, I suppose, but that's not always what I'm looking for.

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#3  Edited By ToughShed

some of them I play for a long time if i click with them (i.e. Hades), but many I only play for a bit (ie Deadcells or rogue Legacy). I don't' see the need to spend much time in one at all unless it really grabs you. If you got some hours out of it, most of these games cost 15 dollars or so.

I will say though that as I'm wrapping up Hades after more than 100 hours I loved with it, it makes a lot of other roguelikes look like shit design wise, and lacking in areas like story by such a huge amount. Its a super high bar and a revelation for the genre to me.

@justin258 said:

I have come to irrationally hate the trend. I see so many games that could do so many interesting things with their mechanics if they would utilize a static world or handcrafted levels, but instead we have an avalanche of games that look great and play well, but that have these garbage randomized levels and difficulty cranked up to the max.

This I agree with . Synthetik is one I enjoy gameplay wise but I hate all the roguelike aspects of it completely and wish it was just a Crusader No Remorse level based style game.

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Onemanarmyy

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#4  Edited By Onemanarmyy

I think when people talk about roguelikes, they think about fast-paced games like Dead Cells, Ziggurat, Spelunky, Binding of Isaac, and Hades. But at the same time, there are more *ahum* 'thinking man' games like Loop Hero, Dicey Dungeons, Slay The Spire, Dungeon Of The Endless and Solitairica that also attach a roguelike progression to games that don't require you to get better and better at hitting the right buttons at the right time. Those are actually quite relaxing and low-octane i find.

Naturally, if you don't like big setbacks, the problem of having to start at the beginning each 'run' is still an inherent issue, but at the same time there's an excitement to 'making it far' that feels pretty good on it's own already. Because it means that your 'build', your decisions, were pretty good up till that point. And if it's a truly good roguelike, starting over, shouldn't just feel like 'having to get back to where you ended' , but forces you to make different choices due to the randomization of items, cards, enemy effects, weapons or something else that makes it feel like you're tackling problems in a new way compared to your last run. This should also help you to gain knowledge on what works in which situations and what doesn't. Sadly, most action-rogue likes are quite dissapointing in that regard i find and get by on their moment-to-moment gameplay.

I will say that eventhough i love Spelunky, you pretty much always want bombs, jetpacks and a shotgun in pretty much every run and that is dissapointing when i think about it. The levels are set, and your item priorities are pretty much set. A truly amazing roguelike should have runs that feel distinct and force you to make some difficult decisions that makes you end up in novel positions. That way, you will organically find out what really works, even if you can't have your ideal build.

For instance, In Loop Hero's demo i figured lifesteal was the way to go, and then stranded against the endboss and eventually learned that focusing on evasion was more effective in that case. But to get to that position, i knew that lifesteal was efficient and that i would just need to transition at some point. That's the kind of knowledge gathering that i enjoy (and also find in something like Dota).

What i do think should change is the sheer amount of 'picks/ items' that are in these kind of games. Games of this ilk seem to go for 15-100 ish different picks / items to choose, and i think it should be more like 150-1000. That should be the nr 1 strength of a roguelike, the numerous ways in which it can make a run feel novel. Like i'm playing a bit of Solitairica right now and i know the run will be good if i can get the item that gives me extra gold early on. And strangely enough, there are very few runs where i am not getting that choice fairly early. That makes the game a whole lot less interesting.

I can't deny that i too would probably prefer good playing games like Hades and Dead Cells to not be roguelikes, because i want to really immerse myself into that world and see a story progress towards a climax instead of knowing i will only get small bits and pieces of story and lore doled out over the same few tilesets until i win the game.

But i still feel like there's a satisfaction to the choices a good rogue-like asks you to make, that could lead to something really special that i'd prefer over a game with a set beginning and end. If only it truly felt like i kept discovering new ways to play the game or use items in a different way for many tens of hours. And that is sadly not happening too often right now. After a few runs, you tend to know what your general options are in most roguelikes i've played.

Roguelikes should be more like Magic The Gathering: the colours tells me what the general idea behind my gameplan is (go big & expensive, cheap & fast, tricky spellcasting, buy protection for my units or hurt myself to hurt the other more) and then each of these gameplans can be achieved through tenthousands of different cards with different effects. A good roguelike, should give me unfamiliar picks all the time and let me figure out if i can somehow fit them into my overall gameplan. Instead of basing my playstyle around a few key-picks that i see every 1 or 2 runs. Having a 'good run' should be exciting to me, not something that is expected because i can keep doing the same thing over and over. I should end up with some picks that i have never seen and then combine them with other picks that make me think differently about the strength of that initial pick.

Slay The Spire was fairly successful at that now i think about it, although that was achieved by making you switch characters that play completely different, right as you feel like you've seen most of the options that your previous character can do.

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Agree with all you said Humanity

In my experience there's a definitely a balance to a good Rogue-lite. Any single run to win the game shouldn't take more than 45 minutes imo and if it does, then there needs to be shortcuts. You should also be always feeling like you are getting stuff to make you stronger, so even if you aren't getting better you essentially chip away at the difficulty until you knock it down to where you can clear it

Honestly I think the best way to play these things is during commutes by Mass transit. That's not my life, so these don't often fit into the way I play.

as for proper "Rogue"-likes, naw I'll pass on those. Life's too short and there are too many other games

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theonewhoplays

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I'm not sure if it's actually a rogue-lite, but Dicey Dungeons is the only randomized dungeon game I've ever enjoyed. That and Griftlands (until I beat it once). Dead Cells, Spelunky, Slay the Spire etc. all just bored me after a few hours. I beat Dead Cells during that time and replaying it felt completely useless.

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Humanity

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#7  Edited By Humanity

@onemanarmyy: Thats a very good differentiation to make that I didn't really think of regarding the slower paced roguelites. I'm not very deep into the genre, as I've mentioned above I typically tend to bounce off these pretty quickly for a variety of reasons so I'm not too familiar with the different permutations the style of any one game can take. I can imagine a more slower paced and deliberate one of these could actually be pretty relaxing and more accessible if you don't have the reflexes for the action packed ones - sort of like a game of Solitaire where the deck is shuffled each time but theres no rush to get through it. As to your point about variety, I do agree that would definitely go a long way in making each run seem a lot more unique rather than hoping to get the 3-4 key upgrades that will almost inevitably guarantee a win. ScourgeBringer seems to be on the very low end of this as I can fairly regularly hit the exact same "boons" and items and even those don't affect the core gameplay to the degree where they would be real gamechangers. Maybe it's just not a very good one of those, who knows.

Personally I think the core issue I have a problem with goes directly against the entire conceit of these games and that is the One-Run-Mentality. There have been a lot of conversations about accessibility lately and I do think, even though the entire premise is to do it all in a single run, a lot of these games would retain a larger player base if they did offer some sort of checkpointing for those that want it. Make it a purchasable item or treat it like summoning other players for boss fights in a Souls game - I'm ok with knowing that I didn't beat it "the way it was meant to be played" or "for real" as long as I do actually get to beat it. Which I think leads to another problem in that apart from Hades, as far as I know a lot of these games don't really offer much once you do beat it. It's the journey not the destination sort of deal. Because you're playing for hundreds of hours and doing countless runs they can get away with sprinkling crumbs of an already threadbare story throughout the experience and still maintain an aura of intrigue. Once you take away the repetition and play through these stories linearly I imagine a lot of them would feel really flat.

@slag: I definitely think that if not some form of checkpointing the game should at least allow for the option to grind away at getting stronger to even the odds. But once again, as I wrote in my reply above, I do think at the end of the day these are starting to sound like grumblings from a person that this genre simply isn't meant for. I might want checkpoints, and bigger health pools, and assists, but ultimately I understand that most people come to these games exactly because they don't want those things and that is what makes roguelites unique to them. So standing on the sidelines and complaining that an entire new genre (well newly reborn) doesn't cater to my needs that seem completely antithetical to its design seems kind of silly.

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#8 bigsocrates  Online

It's not a time thing for me. There are lots of timesink games outside the roguelike genre. The Yakuza games are long and often push you into random side stories that don't matter that much, and of course we know how Ubisoft style open world games love to waste your time. For me it's that the Roguelike genre sacrifices many of the tools that games use to stay compelling (like story and level design variety) and don't really replace them with anything.

I am not a huge roguelike fan in general but I have really enjoyed a few of them and I've rolled credits on some (not just Hades but also games like Undermine, Rogue Legacy and Immortal Redneck.)

For me it's all about the moment to moment gameplay in a game like this. A game really has to pack in some incredible gameplay hook to justify the roguelike structure because roguelikes lose the advantage of great level design and generally things like story progression and character that keep most games fresh and pull you forward, so other things have to carry them.

A roguelike with great gameplay is a lot like an arcade game but longer. If you're old enough to remember arcades and arcade style games, you played those just for the fun of playing (or, I guess, high scores) and always had to start from the beginning once you run out of quarters or lives/continues in console versions. That was still fun. So are great Roguelikes.

I play the daily challenge for Monster Train almost every day while walking on my treadmill and I absolutely love it because that gameplay clicks with me on a deep level. It's not about progression (I have all the unlocks) or story (there isn't any) it's just about the fun of playing, the same reason I still boot up Tetris or Robotron 2084 from time to time.

Hades is probably my favorite roguelike because it puts story and character back into the mix, and even incorporates the roguelike elements into those things in a way that makes it feel essential and not like a compromise. It also plays great and has the gameplay hook of the various boons and weapons radically altering your playstyle in a way that feels fresh. You don't mind playing the same levels over and over again because you're getting story hooks, and getting to experiment with different builds that really feel different, not just slightly stronger or weaker.

Something like RAD just feels boring and repetitive, despite what I think are really great aesthetics, because the gameplay is just so-so and there's no real meaningful progression so you don't feel like you're pushing further, just retreading old ground. Curse of the Dead Gods plays better but can easily ruin a run if you get a bad curse, and doesn't do enough to make games varied through the gameplay.

It's not the number of items they have it's how much they affect the gameplay.

I played a little Scourgebringer and in my view it suffers from these issues. The moment to moment gameplay is...fine and would work in a game with interesting handcrafted level mechanics and some story, but it's not spectacular, and the items and drops don't radically mix things up so it just gets monotonous.

I think that's why people who love really challenging games tend to like roguelikes too. For them the challenge IS the hook, and it makes the moment to moment gameplay super fun. For the rest of us it just compounds the monotony as you run through the same areas over and over to bash your head against the boss.

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After Spelunky came out, I almost exclusively sought out Roguelike/lites. An odd deviation for someone who before then only cared about games with a good story and characters. I don't have a lot of time, and that's kind of why these games are perfect. I can turn on my console, play a run in ten minutes, and even if I died horribly I feel like I had a nice little adventure and can do something else. Some of them hook me enough to give me that one-more-run compulsion, but I don't need that to be satisfied.

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#10  Edited By hermes

I agree with everything you have said, Humanity... I have played some roguelikes and, at best, they feel like a decent time wasting distraction for short periods of time. Just some disposable entertainment when I have half an hour to kill and have something that can be split on short, easily segmented runs.

Hades feels better than all of them, though. God mode allows you to get used to the game and still gets you the experience of dying and re-trying for a while that is core to the experience, but it never shames you or locks content for "real gamerz", and having some plot and character progression between runs gave me a lot more of the one-more-run compulsion than other games in the genre, because I was constantly teased with meaningful developments (more meaningful than "+10 health") after the next run. There were time when I would start a new run and kill myself on the first stage because I just wanted to return to the hub world...

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#11  Edited By OSail

I think there will always be this issue with specific genres, but while they are all mostly legitimate complaints, there are tons of non-rogue____s that exist as well. If you don't enjoy a genre due to the very core concept/because of an accessibility problem, it's likely not worth wasting time with them any more. Of course the accessibility concern is more pressing, but it amounts to the same thing if they are not bringing anything to your life beyond frustration.

Sometimes being on websites that focus on new games (all places covering art and media in non-deep ways are a form of marketing for what is covered whether it's intended or not), or having people telling you about the new stuff, it's easy to feel like you're missing out when a genre you aren't fond of is the current trend. But there are so many games that aren't rogue____s out there already, dozens and dozens of genres across most platforms, that pushing against the genre probably isn't beneficial when you could play something else.

Not everything will appeal to everyone.

With that being said, approaching rogue games of any kind as if they are older console games seems to help me as a fan of most rogues. Don't worry about progression and completion if you can help it, cuz completing games isn't really the point of most video games. Deal with them level by level, encounter to encounter. Discover something new when you hit a new point. Turn them off when you're feeling the frustration creep in. Let it be a short play and done experience.

And if you are really determined to get into one, try something a few years old like Rogue Legacy instead, it's a much easier rogue to get into that is years old, has a simple spend gold to upgrade progress system, is usually cheap enough, and has a ton of guides and help online if that's your thing. Sometimes going older is way better to get a sense of a thing and if it could appeal to you, given the power and necessity of cultural context.

Or play Brogue, a version of Rogue, for free as a cultural touchstone and move onto something else, cuz the world is your oyster etc: https://sites.google.com/site/broguegame/

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cikame

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It's the lack of progression for me, i want to see and do new things, items with different stats don't count, so if i'm bashing my head against the first 3 levels of a rogue-like to finally get to the 4th and it's just a slightly different tile set and different enemies that's not enough.
I was playing Dead Cells and it's a fantastic game, but 6 hours in i think i'm done, i've left it in the middle of my best run yet i've got an incredible loadout... but to what end? The game isn't giving any hints that progressing further is going to be worth it, just more of what i've been doing, so i think i'm done.
I've heard Hades has plenty of story so maybe that's the best one for me, but i do want to check out Void Bastards, i'd gladly spend the time for one of these games if it grabs me but nothing has yet.

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bigsocrates

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#13 bigsocrates  Online

@cikame: Void Bastards has pretty substantial progression too. The main "story" of the game has you gathering components to build stuff and if I recall correctly you keep whatever you've completed, so it's really more of a "die and get a new character" game than any kind of true Roguelike. You aren't expected to collect everything with a single character.

It's sort of like Zombie U. IN SPAAAAAAAAACE!

I liked it.

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With Hades, a complete run is maybe 45 minutes (although you can get that down to 30 minutes pretty easily once you get better). There is enough short and long term goals that you could do a run, tick off some progress towards getting an upgrade or learning more about a story, and be done for the day. The returning home aspect also has a nice cool down affect. By the time I talk to everybody, I will be ready for another run when I felt like I was done for the day.

Some of the other roguelikes don’t nail this aspect or aren’t as good about making you want to keep going. I will definitely give Hades a try.

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hermes

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@cikame: Void Bastards has the aspect that the story requires you to build some ship components and they work as checkpoints. Even if you get a new character, you don't start all the way from the start, but from the last thing you built. Because of that, it is closer to a punishing shooter with some randomized path branching between objectives than a roguelite...

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As I find myself spending less time on games, roguelites have become my genre of choice. I love the relatively bite-sized runs and the process of finding your favorite builds and optimizing them (or just saying "fuck it" and letting fate take you where it may, which is fun in its own right).

Lately I've been hooked on Fights In Tight Spaces, which I'd highly recommend if you like card-based gameplay or board games. It addresses a couple of your issues with the genre, like having the ability to jump to any unlocked chapter when you start a run (although I'd imagine it'd be a hell of a challenge playing the later levels with a fresh default deck). I also like that there's nothing stopping you from your first run being The Run as long as your strategies (and a bit of luck) are strong, although admittedly the game can and will fuck you over on occasion by putting you in spots that you're just not equipped to get out of and that can suck pretty hard. Still, it's a ton of fun and a better John Wick game than the John Wick game, haha.

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I used to have a similar perspective on this, but it's shifted a bit. I'm just very choosy when it comes to Roguelites and how they respect (or disrespect) my time, especially in the early game.

I've also started approaching Roguelites in the same way I would approach classic arcade games. The goal is still just seeing how far I can go instead of beating the game. This approach works for me because there are very few arcade games I've ever finished. Same goes for Roguelites. And that's ok! I love Ms. Pacman and Spelunky to death but I'm okay knowing that I'll probably never beat them.

People have said this of Hades already, but it truly is a rare instance of a Roguelite that was intentionally designed to be beatable which I think is brilliant. Hopefully, more of these games move in that direction!

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I am a big fan of roguelite games, and there are a variety of good to truly amazing ones spanning many different genres that have come out over the last decade. Heck, 2020 might have been the best year for roguelites yet. Hades, Spelunky 2, Noita, Risk of Rain 2, Monster Train, One Step From Eden, the list goes on.

Developers are continuing to come up with new and quirky ideas for roguelites like Luck Be A Landlord(a deckbuilding slot machine game) and Loop Hero(idk how to describe this. Auto battler with deckbuilding and strategy game elements I guess?). I just can't believe how wide the genre has become. And now people are actually implementing meaningful stories into these games too, which is not something I even realized I wanted until Hades and Children of Morta did it.

Also I really like being able to easily just fire up one of these games when I'm craving some action and know that I'll be done in an hour. Even though I've unlocked everything in Spelunky or The Binding of Isaac, I still get the urge to play a run or two every now and then, and I easily can do it. A lot of more traditional games I'd have to start a new game and then play to the part where the combat gets interesting or I get the weapons I like and that can be a big time investment I'm not willing to make.

Overall these are some of my favorite games of all time, with somewhere between 3-6 of them being in my top ten.

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wollywoo

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This is a weird take. I don't think roguelikes/lites are any more time consuming than other genres. I actually think they are great if you don't have a lot of time, since you can do a quick run before bed or whatever and feel like you've had enough. You also don't have to remember where you were or what you were doing last - I've had way too many times where I've abandoned an RPG because I stopped playing it for a while and forgot what was happening. Those kind of games require more of a commitment.

It sounds more like you just don't like the repetition. And that's fair. Personally, I love it, because it's kind of comforting to come back to the same thing again and again, and I like the tension that builds as I have a good run and the risk-reward elements ramp up. I also like to be able to turn my brain off sometimes while I play so I can listen to podcasts and whatnot, and roguelikes are perfect for that.

I'd say Hades is a great place to jump into the genre if you normally aren't a fan. Binding of Isaac and FTL are also fantastic.

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cikame

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@bigsocrates: Learning that it's less like a rogue-like makes me very excited.

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Humanity

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@wollywoo: A lot of people touched on the idea that these games are actually great for limited time constraints because each run can be such a bitesize experience and I see where they're coming from. For me personally I have a limited amount of game time each day. I often ran into the issue where I would load up one of these games, do about 2-3 runs, not unlock anything significant and have to go to bed for the day. It felt like I wasn't getting enough runs in to get significantly better and I also wasn't making any actual progress. So I had really nothing to show for those two limited hours I spent on the game as next day I would log in and be basically at the same spot. This is the place where I'm coming from. I suppose if you simply get enjoyment out of killing some mobs and calling it a night I can see how it can be a great bit of fun on the side. In my situation I was specifically referring to the fact that I don't have the time to sit down and drill down into the game long enough to actually get better at it - well not the ones I had played thus far anyway.

I do agree that these games are pretty good for podcasts. There are times when I sit down and listen to the Beastcast live and I kind of feel guilty about sitting there, listening to a podcast for 3 hours and doing nothing. I've tried playing games before but I inevitably start reading quest descriptions or organizing inventory and lose focus of the podcast, but these roguelikes are pure reflex most of the time so they're perfect.

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#22 rorie  Staff

@humanity: there's always Magic Arenaaaaaaaa...even when you lose you're still making progress towards daily quests. If you've ever liked Magic maybe give it a whirl; it's a great podcast/TV game.

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sandm0rph22

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I know some roguelites have difficulty options to make the runs easier to finish. Void Bastards and some other ones I believe.

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wollywoo

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@humanity said:

@wollywoo: A lot of people touched on the idea that these games are actually great for limited time constraints because each run can be such a bitesize experience and I see where they're coming from. For me personally I have a limited amount of game time each day. I often ran into the issue where I would load up one of these games, do about 2-3 runs, not unlock anything significant and have to go to bed for the day. It felt like I wasn't getting enough runs in to get significantly better and I also wasn't making any actual progress. So I had really nothing to show for those two limited hours I spent on the game as next day I would log in and be basically at the same spot. This is the place where I'm coming from. I suppose if you simply get enjoyment out of killing some mobs and calling it a night I can see how it can be a great bit of fun on the side.

Hmm, well that's not quite the attitude I have toward roguelikes. For me, it's not about the joy of killing the monsters or whatever per se, and it's also not about making progress in the sense of the meta-game between runs - a lot of good roguelikes don't even have much of that to speak of. For me it's about

1) Practicing a skill. Think of it more like building up a skill, like shooting hoops. Even if you miss a lot one night, you still feel accomplished because you got in some practice.

2) Randomness. The random Skinner-box/slot-machine like elements mean that each run will be different. Furthermore, the tension keeps building as you play because you know you're risking losing more and more progress.

Put (1) and (2) together, along with fun moment-to-moment action, and you have a recipe for addiction. It's all about building up to the elation you feel when you are having a great run. The only way to get that feeling you have to fail a bunch first.

If you do get frustrated with the lack of progress, though, I'd recommend Hades again, because in that one you make story progress even when you fail. (I also found Dead Cells very boring, so I'm with you on that one.)

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ProLurker

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I tried Hades, I got 7 hours in before turning to youtube to finish the story. I noticed this person spent 90 minutes on a single run just to die and restart, and that wasn't for me. The writing is fantastic, but this is the sort of game I'd rather watch someone play (and fast-forward a lot) than actually play myself.

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wollywoo

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#26  Edited By wollywoo

@wollywoo: I forgot about

3) Synergy.

This means that various items and powers you acquire during your run don't just add together, they "multiply", amounting to more than the sum of their parts. This means that a good run can be VERY good compared to a less lucky run, and it lets you feel very powerful when you get the right combination. Not necessary for every roguelike, but for me it is key. Slay the Spire is especially good at this.

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Onemanarmyy

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#27  Edited By Onemanarmyy

@wollywoo: If a game has some sort of synergy between skills or units, there's a very good chance it's one of my fav games. Binding of Isaac, Dota2, Warcraft 3, Path of Exile, Transistor etc.

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Y2Ken

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@luchalma said:

I don't have a lot of time, and that's kind of why these games are perfect. I can turn on my console, play a run in ten minutes, and even if I died horribly I feel like I had a nice little adventure and can do something else. Some of them hook me enough to give me that one-more-run compulsion, but I don't need that to be satisfied.

I think this actually kinda where I end up a lot of the time. I still enjoy single-player story or single player games, but I increasingly like roguelikes because I can get my fill in a quick time, and I can drop off at any time and come back a while later and not worry about losing the progression (a lot of them also let you duck out mid-run, which is something that souls is also quite good at).

Personally I really enjoy roguelikes because it feels like I'm building up knowledge of the systems and/or a skillset that makes me gradually better at the game (which is why I also tend to favour ones with minimal or no permanent character upgrades). That's just what works for me. I like that I can start from nothing and be way better than I was when I first played.

I can definitely understand where you're coming from though. The slower roguelikes are definitely more appealing to me now as I get older - Slay the Spire, Monster Train, and actually Spelunky, which I maintain is actually great because it rarely requires you to have incredible reactions or platforming skills, if you play smartly you usually only ever need to execute a couple of moves in quick succession that you can plan out beforehand and time carefully.

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Justin258

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#29 Justin258  Online

@y2ken said:
@luchalma said:

I don't have a lot of time, and that's kind of why these games are perfect. I can turn on my console, play a run in ten minutes, and even if I died horribly I feel like I had a nice little adventure and can do something else. Some of them hook me enough to give me that one-more-run compulsion, but I don't need that to be satisfied.

I think this actually kinda where I end up a lot of the time. I still enjoy single-player story or single player games, but I increasingly like roguelikes because I can get my fill in a quick time, and I can drop off at any time and come back a while later and not worry about losing the progression (a lot of them also let you duck out mid-run, which is something that souls is also quite good at).

Personally I really enjoy roguelikes because it feels like I'm building up knowledge of the systems and/or a skillset that makes me gradually better at the game (which is why I also tend to favour ones with minimal or no permanent character upgrades). That's just what works for me. I like that I can start from nothing and be way better than I was when I first played.

I can definitely understand where you're coming from though. The slower roguelikes are definitely more appealing to me now as I get older - Slay the Spire, Monster Train, and actually Spelunky, which I maintain is actually great because it rarely requires you to have incredible reactions or platforming skills, if you play smartly you usually only ever need to execute a couple of moves in quick succession that you can plan out beforehand and time carefully.

I've seen this argument a few times in this thread and have heard it in other places... but it always makes me raise an eyebrow. Most modern games that aren't roguelikes are loaded with checkpoints and save stations or just outright let you manually save anywhere. I played Black Mesa a few weeks ago, bound quicksave to G, and never lost more than a few minute's progress due to my frequent deaths. Most single-player games are like this - you can dip out anytime, for any reason, and even if you alt-f4'd or just cut off your console you would lose very little, even if you only played for thirty minutes. As another example, I played Pillars of Eternity for a little less than 30 minutes before work this morning, I wrapped up a whole sidequest in that time. How are roguelikes better for quick time games when compared to something like this?

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Humanity

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@justin258: Well not to speak for anyone else but they are better at quick pick up and play because there is no commitment. You can fire up a Spelunky and do a run for 20 minutes or do 5 runs in 20 minutes but it's all the same. Sometimes you only have that 20 minutes to kill and it makes little sense to like load up Mass Effect because you won't really get anything meaningful done while a single run has some sort of beginning middle and end (even though you are likewise not really accomplishing anything long term).

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Belegorm

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I have a bit of a different take on this - I never beat a modern roguelite. I'm bad at the actiony parts of Spelunky, or the planning of Darkest Dungeon.

What I have done is beat Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup three times. This is a really classic style tiles-based roguelike that's been around a long time. I appreciate the slow pace, the many different playstyles, builds, differential routes and such. It's also pretty long - I think maybe 10 hours for a full run? But learning my way through the game is great. Nothing like training up an army of orcs as the orc messiah!

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@justin258: Obviously quick save is a nice feature (for games that support it, quite a few still don't), but I generally like to do a complete "thing" in a sitting where possible when I play a game. A lot of it is pure personal preference - sure, I could duck out halfway through a Hitman mission or Dishonored level and come back to it later but I personally prefer doing them in one go if possible.

I'd say the other thing is often you can adapt the type of run you're doing to the time you have - if I only have 10 minutes I can try and speedrun Spelunky 2 and win or lose I'll be done in time, which to me feels more satisfying than getting ten minutes into a sidequest in an RPG and then stopping.

That aspect certainly isn't exlusive to roguelikes, though - it's not necessarily why I prefer the genre over another type of game, just why I like the genre in general.